Bedford Blues' second half fightback is all in vain as Cornish Pirates plunder the win

A spirited second half comeback from Bedford Blues was ultimately in vain as they were made to pay for an abysmal opening 40 minutes as Cornish Pirates held out for a 27-21 success at Goldington Road.
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It was a tale of two halves as Pirates won the first 27-7 before Bedford rallied for a 14-0 shut-out after the break.

Ultimately, it was the five minute spell just before the break that did for Mike Rayer's side as they not only lost a man to the sin bin, but also shipped 12 unanswered points, which it made too much of a mountain to climb after the restart.

“We were definitely better in the second half, but we left ourselves too much of a mountain to climb,” said Rayner.

Defeats for both Bedford Blues and Ampthill.Defeats for both Bedford Blues and Ampthill.
Defeats for both Bedford Blues and Ampthill.

“We seemed to lack that bit of edge in the first half. Missing Booj (Michael Le Bourgeois) was a huge loss for us. The boys should have picked the mantle up, but we were quite flat. Pirates didn’t have to do a lot to beat us, they were good value for the win.

“We have to roll our sleeves up and go again. We’ve got no excuses for the performance.”

A try with the last play of the game secured Nottingham’s first win since early December at Ampthill, edging a 12-try thriller 43-36.

Ampthill scored two tries in a 10 minute period to tie the match at 36-36 with 68 minutes gone. But just as the match appeared to be heading towards a draw, Jack Stapley scored the matchwinning try with the last play of the game, after an outstanding set of offloads from the Archers.

Ampthill head coach Paul Turner said: “It seems like Groundhog Day again.

“At half-time we thought we had got ourselves into a position to win the game, but we had a disastrous 15 minutes at the start of the second half.

“With the clock in the red at 36-36 all, all we needed to do is kick it off, and I think we all would go home happy. But we’re a young side with young leadership, and we decided we wanted to win the game.”

Bedford Athletic went down to a narrow 34-30 defeat at home to league leaders Colchester, fully meriting the two bonus points they took.